As the warmer weather is approaching, it is the perfect opportunity to spend more time outdoors with your faithful friend, slowly strolling, appreciating nature and breathing fresh air, while your excited pooch explores the surroundings – nothing is better.
Sometimes the weather can get very hot, often hotter than predicted and if there is a breeze it can trick you into thinking it’s not that hot, whereas really it is. Due to their fur coats dogs can heat up very quickly. It is therefore important to observe your dog and to look out for the vital first signs of heatstroke, or most importantly prevent heatstroke from occurring in your dog.
To prevent heatstroke from occurring in your dog follow this advice:
- Ensure that you are not out walking in the hottest part of the day (Between 12.00 and 3.00).
- Keep your dog hydrated with plenty of water on standby.
- Come out of the direct sun and find some cool places in the shade regularly.
If you follow these simple steps above, you are ensuring that your dog is keeping cool and safe in the sun at the same time.
A dog’s body temperature should be around the 102°F mark; this is the safe and normal temperature of a dog.
If you think that your dog may be suffering with heatstroke, look for the vital first signs which include:
- Excessive panting.
- Drooling saliva.
- A dark or red tongue.
- A dazed look in eyes.
- Appearing dizzy or unstable.
More advanced symptoms include:
If you notice any of these symptoms in your dog, act quickly to halt heatstroke from occurring.
There are several ways to cool a dog suffering with heatstroke and these are:
- Cooling your dog down with cool but not ice cold water.
- Giving your dog small quantities of water to drink.
- If possible, put on a fan or an air conditioning system to cool your dog.
- Sponge your dog gently on the head and under his tummy with cool water.
Dogs are more at risk of getting heatstroke than us humans; it is not just because of their fur coats, but also because dogs cool themselves by panting and not by sweating like we do. Panting is not such an effective method of cooling the body temperature down as sweating is.
Also if you take your dogs out in the car for trips or days out, ensure that they are not left in the car alone, as on hot days the temperature in the car can quickly heat up, sometimes up to as much as double the outside temperature. This is obviously very dangerous for your dog, even if you previously had the air conditioning on in the car, or have left a bowl of water for your dog, it will still not sufficient enough to stop them from overheating in a short space of time.
It is possible for us to enjoy the long awaited sun and keep our pooches safe at the same time, its just about maintaining a balance to keep everyone healthy.